Originally posted on BroncoTalk  |  Last updated 5/21/12

Quarterback Brock Osweiler is one of five rookies that Denver still has to sign. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

The Denver Broncos are negotiating contracts with at least eight players, including five drafted rookies.  The team hopes to have all the rookies signed by the team organized team activities end early next month.

The Broncos are trying to re-work defensive tackle Ty Warren‘s contract ($4 million), extend offensive tackle Ryan Clady‘s contract ($3.5 million this season), have kicker Matt Prater sign his one-year tender ($2.5 million) and sign Derek Wolfe, Brock Osweiler, Ronnie Hillman, Philip Blake and Danny Trevathan to rookie contracts.  Denver has already signed rookies Omar Bolden and Malik Jackson to four-year contracts.

  • Warren is aging fast and missed all of last season so the Broncos are asking him to take a hefty pay cut ($2 million).  If Warren does not agree to re-work his deal, Denver may cut him.
  • The Broncos placed their franchise tag on Prater earlier in the year, but Prater hasn’t signed the one-year, $2.5 million deal in hopes in receiving a larger, long-term deal.  Prater’s agent says $2.5 million is “well short” of what Prater is worth.  Last week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed kicker Connor Barth to a four-year, $13.2 million deal which included $4 million in guaranteed money.  Before signing with Tampa Bay, Barth had received the same franchise tag Denver placed on Prater (one-year, $2.5 million).  Prater’s agent will likely seek a deal slightly better than the one Berth received.
  • Clady is entering the final year of his five-year rookie contract and is due to make $3.5 million this season.  Fellow offensive tackles Jake Long (Dolphins), Branden Albert (Chiefs), and Duane Brown (Texans) are all entering the final year of their contracts and Clady and his agent may be waiting for the left tackle market to be set.  Cleveland’s Joe Thomas is the highest paid left tackle in the league, with a seven-year, $84 million deal.  Clady’s contract will likely be substantially less, perhaps in the $20-30 million range.
  • According to the Denver Post‘s Mike Klis, defensive tackle Derek Wolfe will likely receive a four-year deal in the range of $7.641 million.  Klis bases his money numbers on the contract Colin Kaepernick —who was drafted at the same spot Wolfe was, 36th—received from the 49ers last year.  Because Kaepernick is a quarterback however, I expect Wolfe to receive a smaller contract, possibly even under $6 million.
  • Klis also expects quarterback Brock Osweiler will sign a four-year deal, worth about $3.04 million.  Again, Klis bases his numbers on the contract running back Mikel Leshoure received from the 49ers last season.  Because Osweiler is a quarterback however, I expect him to sign a contract slightly higher than Leshoure received last year.
  • Per Klis again, Ronnie Hillman will likely sign a contract similar to the four-year, $2.75 million deal Nate Irving—who was picked at the same 67th spot Hillman was this year—signed in 2011.  Contradicting Klis again, I expect a bigger deal for Hillman than Irving signed last year.
  • Philip Blake can expect a four-year deal in the range of $2.5 million.
  • Danny Trevathan will also receive a four-year deal, which will look somewhat similar to Blake’s.
Expect several signings in the coming days and weeks.  

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